The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has opened a probe into allegations that Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Thompson Mabhikwa, had an inappropriate affair with a subordinate who leaked his nudes after discovering that he was sleeping with another woman.
Mabhikwa woke up to the nightmare of his penis trending on WhatsApp Saturday after his irate young lover Oratile Nare, an aide to a fellow judge, got her revenge and sent the judge’s raunchy pictures to his phone contacts, including judicial officers.
In a statement Tuesday, the commission said it had “taken note of the offensive [or] indecent material circulating on various media platforms and the alleged relationship between a member of the Judiciary and a member of the staff” – the most serious charge Mabhikwa faces.
“The commission wishes to advise that investigations into the matter are underway and the public will be advised of the results thereof in due course,” it added.
Probably sensing infidelity, Nare is reported to have gone through the judge’s phone while he slept and noticed he had sent graphic images of his penis to another woman only identified as Petty or Patie.
In turn, the woman had impressed Mabhikwa with pictures of her vagina, prompting him to promise fireworks ahead of an evening tryst: “Okay, ntambama ngizaluphosa ke (literally meaning ‘I will throw it then’, Ndebele slang for lovemaking).”
Petty or Patie replies: “Ngizakunika. Uphose vele (I will give you. You have to f*ck me).”
Legal analysts told ZimLive the judge faces possible dismissal from the bench or reprimand if he is found in breach of Section 6 or 7 of the Judicial Code of Ethics which require judicial officers to ensure that their “conduct, in and outside court, is above reproach in the view of reasonable, fair-minded and informed persons.”
They are also obliged to “avoid impropriety and the appearance of improper behaviour in all of his or her activities, in and outside court, and shall avoid any conduct that may result in bringing the judiciary into disrepute.”
After the commission’s findings, ZimLive was told that a recommendation could be made for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to set up a tribunal that would look into Mabhikwa’s less than judicious conduct or the president could just mete out punishment without any further investigation.
Disciplinary measures would vary from dismissal by the president to “a reprimand”, “a severe reprimand” or a final reprimand from the Chief Justice,” according to the judicial code.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi also faces a possible investigation by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission over “abuse of his power” after sleeping with a married junior intelligence officer working for him and arranged sex in his office with another married mistress, among other expeditions.
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